Merlin’s Asa Butterfield stars in first Ender’s Game trailer

The Merlin and Hugo actor appears alongside Hailee Steinfeld, Harrison Ford and Ben Kingsley in the sci-fi film

My, how he’s grown… 16-year-old Asa Butterfield is swapping roles in teatime favourite Merlin and children’s blockbuster Hugo to play a highly skilled soldier in sci-fi film Ender’s Game.

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The actor, who played young Mordred in the hit BBC drama Merlin, plays the film’s protagonist Andrew “Ender” Wiggin alongside recognisable faces Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin, Harrison Ford, Viola Davis and Ben Kingsley.

Ender’s Game is based on a science fiction novel of the same name by Orson Scott Card. Set in the future after an alien race called the Formics have attacked earth, the story follows Ender who is pulled from his school to join the International Fleet. The Fleet are preparing for an anticipated alien invasion by training unusually gifted children and once at Battle School Ender is soon picked out as a future leader…

Orson Scott Card has written a number of sequels to Ender’s Game, so this film has potential to become the next big film franchise. Although the project has already been met with controversy in the US due to Card’s outspoken views on gay marriage.

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Ender’s Game is in UK cinemas 25 October